Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Tvameva Mata Ca Pita Tvameva



To prove my point as an analogue, running parallel to the high sounding ritualistic practices, I request you to understand the basic Pooja (prayer) method we offer Him daily. 

To start with, we light an oil lamp. Lamp gives light. Knowledge is light. 

While lighting the lamp, we say " May this light give me all the good and pleasantness, health, wealth and destroy the inimical forces. Oh! Light, I bow to  you!"

"Deepajyothi Parabrahma Deepajyothi Janardhana Deepo Me Hara Tu Paapam Deepaa Jyothir Namostute"

Meaning: The literal meaning of the mantra is: "I fold my hands before the lord, the maintainer of this creation, in the form of this light. I adore this light, which destroys all the pains resulting from my omissions and commissions".  
We start our Prayer with the following Sloka. 
Aagamardhantu Devanam Gamanaardhantu raakshasam 

Kuru Ghantaravam Tatra Devatahvaana Lanchanm! 

Yes! Gurus tell us the Ghaantanadam (ringing bell) is to bring back our wavering mind to the God's presence.  It is right.  But as a way of life consider this. 

During night time a Gurkha roaming your streets makes sounds with a stick. Is it not to scare away the criminals (asuras) and create a confidence in the people sleeping or coming homes late? Likewise a police horn. It gives you confidence to walk freely without fear of criminals. So, God, our day's Guest is being invited with an assurance that we have kept the surroundings of our humble  home away from the Rakshasas. "Oh! Aagamaardhantu, Come! Oh! Asuras leave my precincts!" So, do we invite the Gods.  (Cant God protect himself? He can. But as a host we feel it a duty to assure Him. Is it not?)

After ringing the bell for few seconds, we recite this Sloka.

Guru Stotram: Gurur Brahma Gurur Vishnu Gurudevo Maheshwara - in sanskrit with meaning - Stotra on Sri Gurudeva

- from Vishwasara Tantram (also many slokas are found in Guru Gita)

श्री गुरुस्तोत्रम्: गुरुर्ब्रह्मा गुरुर्विष्णुर्गुरुर्देवो महेश्वरः
Sri Guru Stotram: Gurur Brahma Gurur Vishnu Gurudevo Maheshwara


गुरुर्ब्रह्मा गुरुर्विष्णुर्गुरुर्देवो महेश्वरः ।
गुरुरेव परं ब्रह्म तस्मै श्रीगुरवे नमः ॥१॥
Gurur-Brahmaa Gurur-Vissnnur-Gururdevo Maheshvarah |
Gurure[-I]va Param Brahma Tasmai Shrii-Gurave Namah ||1||

1.1: The Guru is Brahma, the Guru is Vishnu, the Guru Deva is Maheswara (Shiva),
1.2: The Guru is Verily the Para-Brahman (Supreme Brahman); Salutations to that Guru.

See, Sirs! The greatness of Hindu thought? We pray our teachers first and equate them with the three Gods (Trimurthy) "Oh! Guru! I salute you!" And, know it, we never say Guru is representative of God. If anyone claims like that we can dump him. Guru is the knowledgeable. The All Knowing God is our ultimate Guru! 

Then we pray to the Lord of Obstacles, Vighnadhipathi.

शुक्लाम्बरधरं   विष्णुं   शशिवर्णं   चतुर्भुजम्
Shuklambaradharam Vishnum Shashivarnnam Caturbhujam

शुक्लाम्बरधरं विष्णुं शशिवर्णं चतुर्भुजम् ।
प्रसन्नवदनं ध्यायेत् सर्वविघ्नोपशान्तये ॥
Shukla-Ambara-Dharam Vissnnum Shashi-Varnnam Catur-Bhujam |
Prasanna-Vadanam Dhyaayet Sarva-Vighno[a-U]pashaantaye ||

1: (We Meditate on Sri Vishnu) Who is Wearing White Clothes, Who is All-Pervading, Who is Bright in Appearance like the Moon and Who is Having Four Hands,
2: Who is Having a Compassionate and Gracious FaceLet us Meditate on Him To Ward of all Obstacles.

Which human being, to whichever faith he belongs, does want obstacles in the way of  performing his duties? None, what so ever. As Hindu Faith is a way of life, we follow this whereas others are either shy of or their high priests do want to impose their hegemony on others by not allowing freedom to their followers to pray for what they need. Is there any other explanation for not praying the Almighty to help ward off obstacles?

Then we purify our hearts and souls with the following Sloka.

om apavitrah pavitro vā
sarvāvasthāṁ gato api vā
yaḥ smaret puṇḍarīkākṣaṁ
sa bahya abhyantaraṁ śuciḥ
śrī viṣṇu śrī viṣṇu śrī viṣṇu

Both pure and impure, passing through the conditions of material life, if remember the lotus-eyed Lord, then one becomes externally and internally clean.
Cleanliness is God. Not only the external, we purify the internal thought process to keep it clean. What a wonderful way to start a prayer?
Then we chant the following Mantra to drive away evil forces and start the Brahma Karma, the Prayer to the Lord.
Then we recite the following Mantra.
uttishTantu Bhhota Pisachaha Eteh bhhomi bharaka
eateashaa ma viroadheana Brahma Karma Samarabhe!
We are purifying the place of prayer by getting rid of the inimical forces and starting the Brahma Karma (Prayer). 
Then follows the Achamanam. We recite the names of Lord Vishnu (Shivaya Vishnu Ruupaya, Shiva Ruupaya Vishnave. If they are names of Lord Vishnu, they are names of Lord Shiva too. So, followers of all three forms of prayer the Vaishnavites, the Shivites and the Smartas follow the same pattern of reciting the names). As a ritual we are told to clean hands and feet and take three sips of water while reciting the names. But there is more than this in the ritual. We are purifying various parts of our body by installing the image of the Lord there. Each name we chant represents one part of our body which we purify and intal the Lord therein. 
  1. Keshavaya Namaha - Thumb to touch the right cheek
  2. Narayanaya Namaha - Thumb, left cheek
  3. Madhavaya Namaha - Ring finger, right eye
  4. Govindaya Namaha - Ring finger, left eye
  5. Vishnave Namaha - Index finger, left side of the nose
  6. Madhusudhanaya Namaha - Index finger, right side of the nose
  7. Trivikramaya Namaha - little finger, right ear
  8. Vamanaya Namaha - little finger, left ear
  9. Shridharaya Namaha - third (middle) finger, right shoulder
  10. Hrishikeshaya Namaha - third finger, left shoulder
  11. Padmanabhaya Namaha - four fingers (hand with thumb folded inwards), navel
  12. Damodaraya Namaha - four fingers, head.
  13. Sankarshanaya namaha
  14. Vasudevaya namaha
  15. Pradyumnaya namaha
  16. Anirudhaya namaha
  17. Purushothamaya namaha
  18. Adhokshajaya namaha
  19. Narasimhaya namaha
  20. Achyutaya namaha
  21. Janardanaya namaha
  22. Upendraya namaha
  23. Hariye namaha
  24. Sri krishnaya namaha

why do we purify our body? It is as good as purifying our body at every stage of our daily chores.  That is why, Hindu Pooja represents a "WAY OF LIFE". It is more than praying for our daily bread or believing the God exists only on one side of the Universe.
Daily purification is done on the following occasions.
  • Immediately after waking up in the morning
  • After urination and other forms of excretion
  • After brushing one's teeth
  • Before and after a bath
  • After wearing clothes
  • Before and after a meal
  • Before and after giving or accepting alms or donation
  • After sneezing, shedding tears or blood
  • Upon association or contact with ritually "impure" substances such as blood, semen, human hair, fire, cattle, cats, mice, refuse, etc.
  • After sexual contact with women.

Then we do a Kalasha Pooja. This is necessary as water is the essence of life.  We purify the water with a Mantra and invoke the various rivers that are the life line of our economy. Who said "Hinduism is for the upper echelons of Society" We invoke the rivers daily as a prayer to them to flow 365 days a year and provide irrigation and food to the populace. The Mantra is as follows 

अथ कलश पूजा
कलशस्य मुखे विष्णु,कण्ठे रुद्र समाश्रितः |
मूले तत्र स्थितो ब्राह्मो मध्ये मात्रुगनास्म्रुतः ||
कुक्षौ तु सागरास्सर्वे सप्त द्विपा वसुन्धरा |
ऋग्वेदोऽपि यजुर्वेद: सामवेदो ह्यथवर्णः  ||
अन्गैश्चसहिता सर्वे कलशाम्बुसमाश्रिताः |
अत्र गायत्री सावित्री शान्तिः पुष्टिकरी तथा ||
आयान्तु देव पूजार्थं दुरितक्षयकारकाः |
सर्वे समुद्राः सारिताः तीर्थानि जलदानदाः ||
गङ्गेच यमुने चैव गोदावरी सरस्वती |
नर्मदे सिन्धु कावेरी जलेय्स्मिन्सिन्सन्निधिंकुरु ||
गंगा दि  सर्वतीर्थेभ्यो नमः कलश पूजां समर्पयामि.||
6. Kalash Pooja
Kalashashya Mukhe Vishnu, kanthe rudra samaashritah.
Moole tatra sthito brahmo madhye ganaasmrutah. ||
Kukshau tu saagarssarve,sapta dvipaa vasundharaa.
Rugvedoapi Yajurvedah, samaveda hyathavarne.||
Angaishcha sahitaa sarve,kalashaambusamaashritaah.|
Atra gayatri, savitri shanty pushti kari tathaah||
Aayaantu deva poojartham,durita kshyakaarakaah |
Sarve samudraah saritaah tirthani jaladaanadaah||
Gangecha yamune chaiva,Godavari saraswati. |
Narmade sindhu kaveri,jaleysmin sannidhim kuru. ||
Gangaadi sarva tirthaabhyo namah kalash poojaam samarpayaami. |

Here we are praying the life line of the Universe, Water. While invoking Gods in the water pot, we are offering our adulation to all the Oceans, Seas and Rivers and offering it to the Supreme. We are purifying the prayer material, the Idols of Goda and our own soul with the pure waters of all rivers.